Wildfire smoke to clear out this weekend, experts discuss health advice

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 12:38 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 2:38 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency discontinued the statewide Air Quality Advisory Friday after poor air conditions affected the area due to wildfire smoke.

The Ohio EPA issued the first advisory on Wednesday as wildfire smoke from Canada made its way into the United States. The air quality in northwest Ohio at one point hit “unhealthy” levels. As of Friday afternoon, the Air Quality Index still recommends those who are unusually sensitive to particle pollution to consider reducing their activity levels or shorten the amount of time they are active outdoors.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the smoke contains particulates that can be inhaled and cause irritation of the eyes, nose or throat, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and can aggravate chronic heart and lung conditions.

ODH suggests limiting outdoor activity and taking the following precautions:

  • Spend time in a room you can close off from outside air.
  • Avoid using candles, gas, propane, wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, and aerosol sprays. Frying or broiling meat, smoking tobacco products, and vacuuming may worsen indoor air pollution.
  • If you have a central air conditioning system, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke. If your system has a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode or close the outdoor intake damper.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If your eyes, nose or throat are irritated, running a humidifier may provide some relief.

Sensitive groups extend beyond just those with medical conditions and include the young and the elderly. The air quality conditions have the ability to affect anyone regardless of health status.

Check Ohio’s current air quality status at the link here. Find the federal EPA’s dashboard on wildfires and indoor air quality at the link here.

Stay updated with the latest developments by downloading the First Alert Weather app and following our meteorologists on social media.

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